CDS people and the jobs they do

Meet some of the people who work for CDS and find out more about the jobs they do. Check out our vacancies and come and join us.

Working for CDS, you are working for an award winning organisation. We are proud of the job we do and of the recognition from our peers.

‘The dental team were fantastic with my son and his anxiety, they made him feel very comfortable and reassured.’

I have worked in community dentistry for 28 years and have been with CDS for three years. I started my career as a Vocational Trainee in the community dental service, South London. I have since worked at Birmingham Dental Hospital, Guys Hospital London and in general practice in Leicester. I have worked in special care / paediatric dentistry in Leicester since 1993. Most of my earlier training has been ‘on the job training’. From a managerial point of view, I have worked with the senior team in Leicester for so long, management just comes with the job!

I think some of the core skills needed in my role are definitely empathy, patience and a flexible approach. My interest in joining CDS stems from my past experiences. During my elective at Dental school, I went to a Veteran’s Administration Centre in Milwakee, USA where my interest in special care was ignited. It is treating patients who need something extra that gives me the most satisfaction.

There is no typical day for me, which actually is the attraction of my job, and even when there is a plan for the day, it can all change. You may need to cover a clinic for someone who has phoned in sick, there may be an urgent domiciliary patient or child that needs extraction before their Bone Marrow transplant can take place, or there is a national pandemic and a lockdown! This last year has been a real challenge but I hope that the team felt supported and cared for. I have regular clinics and GA lists but I try to keep up with my emails daily, usually first thing. I am excited by the fact that no day is the same and I enjoy being involved in decision making and problem solving.


The thing I enjoy most about working for CDS is seeing when you make a difference for a patient or an employee, within CDS we are able to make a difference and have a voice.

I had wanted to work within community, special care dental care services full-time and joined CDS in January 2020.

I studied Speech and Language Therapy at University of East Anglia, graduating in 2015. After this I worked as a healthcare assistant on the stroke wards at the NNUH, before getting a job as a trainee dental nurse at a local GDP. In 2017 I went back to University, this time in Sheffield, to study ‘DipDEN Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy’. Before joining CDS I worked for a local GDP three days a week, providing private hygiene appointments under direct access. I still work for Cambridgeshire Community Services, as a Dental Therapist, two days a week.

Core skills I believe one needs as a Dental Therapist are effective communication and active listening; team-working; being flexible and adaptable – taking the patients lead on what’s best for them; taking a holistic, patient-focused approach to dental care.

I work across three different sites: Norwich, Kings Lynn and Lowestoft and a typical day for me is:
8.30am – checking emails, looking through what patients are booked in and planning for the day ahead.
9.00am – morning seeing patients in clinic.
Patients are referred from dentists for a variety of dental treatments, from acclimatisation, oral hygiene instruction, diet advice and fluoride varnish application, to non-surgical periodontal treatment, fillings, hall crowns and extractions of deciduous teeth.
12.30pm – lunch, usually leftovers from dinner the night before!
1.30pm – afternoon seeing patients in clinic (occasional domiciliary visits).
If patients are late, cancel or are not brought to their appointments I spend this time catching up on emails or triaging referrals.
4.30pm – closing-down for the day and finishing off any outstanding work and logging information on cascade.
5.00pm – home time!

Working as a Dental Therapist in a community dental service means that I feel I can make a real difference to the patients, and I really appreciate the variety of patients that we see. Every day is different and comes with its own challenges and surprises and what excites me most about my role with CDS is being able to work to my full scope of practice, with continual opportunities to develop my clinical skills and learn. My wonderful community dental colleagues in Norfolk have provided me with so help and support over the past year, thank you to all of them!

I have worked for CDS for nearly four years. Before CDS I worked with Cavity dental agency for four months. Prior to that I served in the RAF for eight years as a dental nurse serving one tour in Afghanistan. Prior to that I spent five years in general practice in Surrey. When I joined CDS I was already a qualified Dental Nurse and had obtained my Oral Health Education certificate before applying for the job. After joining CDS I undertook the Level 3 in Education and Training. When I worked for Cavity dental, I had spent time working with CDS so I got to know the company and was attracted to working for it. I felt it was such a friendly place to work, and the people they see can be more vulnerable or have special needs – I have a passion for oral health and making a difference for those who really need it.

Some of the core skills required in my job are the confidence to deliver training to other health professionals and oral health sessions to children and families, plus a creative side for making resources and social media posts to promote our oral health key messages.

A typical day in my job usually starts with my logging on and catching up with emails first thing, then I get on with work. Throughout the day if I am not in a meeting or delivering training, I am developing training presentations, Oral Health resources or social media posts. At lunch I take my seven-month-old puppy for a walk then grab a quick bite to eat. I work very closely with my two colleagues in the Lincolnshire OH team so can spend a lot time working on projects together over zoom or over the phone.

The things I enjoy most about working for CDS are the people we work with and the variety there is in our work. I love being creative and making new resources that our Lincolnshire schools can use or social media posts that we publish.

I am excited by delivering training and empowering others with knowledge to pass on to those they work with. Every day is different. CDS is a great organisation to work for. Despite only being a team of three in Lincolnshire we also work really closely with the wider OH team and we all work together really well. CDS is always looking for ways to improve the service whether it is for employees or patients and you can have your say or even suggest different ways. I have learnt so much in the nearly four years I have been with CDS.

I have worked as a Dental Receptionist / Decontamination Technician for over 8 years in total and started working for CDS in April 2020. In my first and only other job I worked for a travel company. I had various administration roles in the 22 years that I worked there. The change in area of work was due to being made redundant, and I no longer wanted to work in the travel industry anymore. After being made redundant, Health Care was something totally different and a challenge for me, but I wanted to transfer my skills as I enjoy helping people, and this role allows me to support our patients with managing their appointments.

When I joined CDS I attended an induction and essential learning day, I also received on the job training with the teams at Ilkeston and Coleman Street. I would say the core skills required in my role are being friendly and approachable and having good administrative and organisational skills.

A typical day in my role starts with me checking my emails to see if there are any outstanding emails or jobs that need to be completed; answering any calls that come through, whether it is the patients saying that they have arrived for their appointment or patients that want to book appointment or may have queries; I also complete my daily checks in the decontamination room and process any instruments that come through from the surgeries. I always take my lunch break in the hospital restaurant – I normally bring in one of my boring salads from home, but if there is something nice on the menu like ‘pie and chips’ I can mostly be persuaded to have that instead! At the end of the day, I check that all my jobs have been completed and if there are any instruments to be processed then that this is done too.

I enjoy working for CDS as I am able to help both my colleagues and our patients. Being part of a great team, both in clinic and as a region is exciting. Something that makes CDS a great place to work is that feeling of being part of a team that look out for each other.

I have worked for CDS for 19 years. Having completed vocational training and an oral and maxillofacial surgery senior house officer job, I had a year training post with Derbyshire CDS. I had applied for this job to try and conquer my fear of treating children! (it worked!). During that year I treated not only children but also adults with special needs and became particularly interested in adults with mental health and substance misuse issues. Having completed the year I headed off to ‘earn my fortune’ in GDS! After a few months I realised the error of my ways and contacted Derbyshire CDS asking if they had any jobs coming up in the future – not long after a colleague from CDS retired and I came back!

Having qualified from Bristol University as a dentist I took my Royal College MFDS exams a couple of years later. I completed various certifications relating to special care dentistry as part of my CPD and gained entry on the special care specialist list by a portfolio application in 2010 when the specialty was first created by the GDC. I feel the biggest skill needed in my job is communication, followed by patience, humour and the ability to think on your feet and to think outside the box – being able to do good quality dentistry in compromised situations and quickly and also the willingness to play any part needed in the team to get things done. There’s a good team at the local hospital – I could not do my job without our wonderful anaesthetic department at The Royal Derby Hospital.

I wanted to return to CDS from GDP so that I could work with adults with learning disabilities, substance misusers, and to work in prison. I love being able to make a difference – to make their mouth healthy, comfortable and give them a good dental experience.

A typical day for me? The first thing I do when I get to work is to make sure I have a coffee! With two young children I feel like I’ve done a full day’s work before I even step foot in the clinic. Next, I read my new emails and teams messages and write a list in my trusty notebook of everything I need to respond to / read in more detail. Then I look through the day list ahead. I chat to the dental nurse and receptionist about any issues or special cases we have booked in. We plan if we need the hoist, wheelchair tipper, denture work and plan equipment and materials needed for any AGP’s.

A clinical day could involve any variety of adult special care assessments, treatments or reviews. I may be in clinic or at a GA session, sedation clinic, out on domiciliary visits or working in the safe space outreach clinic. I love the variety!

Lunchtime for me would usually be a sandwich eaten whilst catching up on life admin – the online grocery shop, sorting the children’s school and social lives or a frustrating call to a call centre about the electricity bill! If I can, I catch up with messages to colleagues at this time too. I try to keep on top of messages between patients – and always keep an eye out in case anybody has an urgent query that can’t wait.

At the end of the day, I check my to do list and finish any outstanding tasks – then I write another list for home tasks for the evening – and one for the following workday too. My final tasks are to remember a: where I have hung my home clothes (there are options!) and b: where I have parked my car. I then enjoy listening to the radio on the drive home before a busy evening being Mummy!

I enjoy working as a team to help patients to have a clean, healthy and comfortable mouth. For example, seeing a patient through from toothache – to GA planning – to treating under GA and then reviewing a few weeks later and seeing the impact being pain free has had on them. I love the variety and never knowing what challenge will present itself next and working within a big team both in Derbyshire and across all of CDS we are able to share ideas, knowledge and skills. Working with so many likeminded individuals having so much experience and knowledge to draw on, and opportunities for self-development makes CDS a great place to work.

I have been a dental nurse for 28 years and have worked for CDS for nearly four years. I trained at Guy’s Hospital school of Dental Nursing and after qualifying I remained at Guys for two years working on the Paediatric Department. I spent the next twenty years working in General practice before commencing my role in CDS. During my years before starting with CDS I gained the NEBDN post graduate certificates in Conscious Sedation and Oral Health Education.

Some core skills I believe a dental nurse should have, especially for working in the community, are being organised, quick thinking, adaptable, being a team player and understanding. I have always had a passion for helping children and adults with additional needs. I had always made a connection with these patients while working in general practice and wanted to continue my career in this area and this was something that attracted me to working for CDS.

A typical day for me starts with setting up the surgery and doing all the equipment checks so I know my day will run smoothly. My Southend team then have a daily team talk where we discuss the upcoming day. We discuss how we are going to approach each patient (each one can be so different) and any other local or companywide issues. Our first patient is normally at 9.30am and I spend my time in clinic supporting the Dentist and helping the patient through the treatment. Lunch time is always taken together as a team, we normally spend this time swapping recipes and catching up with each other’s life. Our afternoon session starts at 1.30pm and finishes at 4pm. In between patients I catch up on admin work and update my noticeboards. Throughout the year I design themed noticeboards to spread important advice on oral hygiene. My favourite boards are Christmas, Easter and Halloween. We also highlight important awareness weeks including oral cancer awareness month and National Sign language week. At the end of the clinical day I shut down the surgery and the clinic, then offer help to the rest of the team if needed.

The thing I love most about working for CDS is my team! I am lucky to work with an amazing team and we are like a little family. My team provide great support to me. And the things that excite me most about my job are the patients! I love being able to provide treatment for these patients who have been unable to receive treatment elsewhere. Nothing beats the feeling when we have successfully completed a course of treatment.

The past year has been the hardest we have ever had to face during the pandemic. I am very grateful for the way CDS supported us through this challenging time.

On my first day with CDS I ended up roleplaying Star Wars with a wonderful patient with autism. I knew right then that this was the job for me! I have been very fortunate that CDS has enabled me to gain my qualification in British Sign Language Level 1 and Level 2. I also attended a deaf awareness course and this has enabled me to share knowledge and tips with the wider Essex team. It has helped me open communication with patients who were unable to be supported in this way. My favorite moment with CDS so far was a little boy who was so excited that he could sign with me. His mother told me that it made the appointment so special for him. I look forward to continuing to learn this skill and share this information with my colleagues.

I have worked for CDS for three years and before I joined I worked as a desktop and mobile and infrastructure support – previous to that I worked for Autoglass Body Repair. I haven’t done any specific formal training, just 12 years working in various IT support functions. I feel some of the more important skills needed in my role are patience, being able to be analytical, good communication and diligence.    

Working for a social enterprise was a big pull for me and I love the idea of being part of an organisation whose raison d’être is more than just making money. 

A typical work day for me begins with catching up on emails, looking at the ongoing issues / projects and prioritising their importance. I work on projects until I have support requests come in from colleagues or from my manager. At the end of the day I pick up the kids and prepare dinner, and on alternative evenings I go to the gym or work on learning new IT skills.  

I enjoy working for CDS as I have the chance to explore new technology and build new skills, and utilise my existing skills, as well as the opportunity to embrace your professional passions and use them to improve work for the business and people within it. The potential for using Power Automate to move towards a paperless more digital business really excites me. 

497 Employees

10 years Average length of service

57% Work flexible hours